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St. Peter’s College welcomes Rev. Fr. Trevor Gerad Martin as the 11th Rector

Posted on 12 February 2014 by admin

St. Peter's welcomed Rev. Fr. Trevor Gerad Martin as the 11th Rector of their hallowed institute today (12th February).

A board straddling the gate posts of the College told all passersby of the event and needless to say the event was a well organised and well orchestrated one. The well manicured lawns and methodically and tastefully laid out flowerbeds with flowers blooming, at the front of the College and the fountain at the centre, made the setting picturesque and the new Rector could be forgiven if he thought he was walking in to a curator managed institute connected to a botanical garden instead of a school premises. He would have been surely happy that it was such a beautiful legacy that he would be expected to give leadership and guidance. The quadrangle was no less well decorated and took on an astral quality with stars in blue, white and gold hanging from trees to welcome the new leader.

The newly appointed Rector Fr. Trevor Martin arrived with the General Manager of the Catholic Schools, Fr. Ranjith Madurawala just after 8.00 a.m. to be welcomed with garlands by prefects and the erstwhile Rector Fr. Travis Gabriel. There was also the priest community representing the priests at St. Peter's and other priests from parishes and institutes of the Archdiocese, including the Episcopal Vicar. The tutorial staff, invited staff from Loyola College where he had served for 14 long years and his family members were also at hand to welcome him to St. Peter's.

A ceremonial salute was accorded to him by the Air Cadet Wing of St. Peter's College while oriental dancers led the way to conduct him to the porch at the front. Here he was greeted by a Prefect and presented a pot of flowers which he laid at the foot of the statue of St. Peter and after a brief prayer he returned to the porch where all the priests robed themselves in preparation for Holy Mass that was to follow at the altar erected specially in the foyer of the quadrangle.

The quadrangle was overflowing not only with students and teachers from College and Old Peterites but also staff members and students from Loyola College who had come to say farewell to their beloved Rector, Fr. Trevor. The chief celebrants at the concelebrated Mass were the incoming and outgoing Rectors Frs. Trevor Martin and Travis Gabriel, respectively (referred to as the two Ts by the new Rector in his address later on in the proceedings) and Fr. Madurawala. In a very meaningful sermon delivered by Fr. Cyril Gamini, he illustrated that the hand of the teacher is one that has to guide, help, nurture, develop and educate the students in his care and said that the need of the hour was to inculcate good values among the present generation. He expressed his confidence that Fr. Trevor was one such teacher who would inspire the students and teachers alike at St. Peter's.

After the conclusion of the liturgical ceremony the welcome "Assembly" commenced with another procession from the porch to the foyer and this was led by the western band with the scouts, cubs, air cadets, sportsmen and prefects lining the aisle to welcome their new Rector. The welcome address was delivered by Mr. Canicius Ranasinghe of the tutorial staff and Fr. Crispin Leo whose association with Fr. Trevor goes back to his student days, then addressed the gathering to give his impressions of Fr. Trevor as an introduction.

A Sinhala song was sung by Mas. Clifford Fernando alluding to the fact that Fr. Trevor will rule at St. Peter's and welcoming him to College.

Thereafter the President of the OBU Surgeon Rear Admiral Dr. Nicholas Jayasekera spoke and pledged the support of the OBU to the new Rector in carrying out his vision for College and in true Naval style wished for fair winds and calm seas in reaching the ultimate goal of excellence. It was then the turn of the western choir of St. Peter's to demonstrate their singing prowess and they did so in harmony, singing the praises of "Jesus, the Rock of salvation".

The official handing over and taking over took place thereafter with Fr. Ranjith Madurawala, General Manager or the Catholic Schools signing the "Log Book" of St. Peter's followed by Fr. Travis Gabriel relinquishing duties and Fr. Trevor Martin assuming duties as Rector, also placing their signatures. The Peterite Air Cadets then presented the College flag to the outgoing Rector who in turn presented in to Fr. Trevor. It was then Fr. Vincent Ashley's turn as the newly appointed Vice Rector of St. Peter's to hand of the Keys of St. Peter's in reality and metaphorically to the new Rector.

After Fr. Ranjith Madurawala's address which followed the handing over of the keys, the newly appointed Rector of St. Peter's, Fr. Trevor Martin addressed the gathering. His opening remarks were to thank God for the blessings he had received and said that all priests are expected to bloom wherever they were planted and that he too would do so as would Fr. Travis when he goes to St. Joseph's. He added that he had a plan for St. Peter's and spoke at length on education, motivation, quality of the out going student and the need for preparation for such a quality student from grade 1 and the need for inculcation of discipline and values, all of which he said he aimed to achieve making St. Peter's the best school in the island in the process, with the help from staff and Old Boys and other associations connected with the College. The proceedings came to a close with the lusty singing of the College Anthem.

JPAA Canada thanks the hard working Hony. Editor of the SPC-OBU Algi Wijewickrema for sending us the above news item. It is eloquently written and contains a full account of what happened on this sacred day. Thanks Algi!

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